AstraZeneca and Russia’s Petrov Institute sign cancer research collaboration

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

AstraZeneca and the N.N. Petrov Institute of Oncology, one of Russia’s leading cancer research institutions, today announced a research collaboration to identify genetic mutations in cancer patients. The agreement, among the first of its kind between a global biopharmaceutical company and a Russian research centre, was signed today during a ceremony in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Establishing the role these genetic mutations play in the growth and spread of certain types of cancer may lead to the development of better therapies, improvements in disease management and innovative approaches to personalized healthcare for patients worldwide. Personalized healthcare is a core capability within AstraZeneca R&D and a priority within the Russian government’s Healthcare Development 2020 programme.

Commenting on the news Ajay Gautam, AstraZeneca’s Executive Director, Asia and Emerging Markets R&D, said, “The R&D eco-systems of Russia and other emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India are becoming increasingly important sources of innovation in medical science. We believe that partnering and collaborating with biotech companies and best-in-class academic institutions like the Petrov Institute is a central element of our R&D strategy to make a significant contribution to the delivery of innovative medicines for patients, both in Russia and across the globe.”

Prof Evgeny Imyanitov, the Petrov Institute’s head of research for tumour growth biology said, “By leveraging our institute’s unique infrastructure we hope our collaboration with AstraZeneca will lead to finding new approaches to treating cancer which will ultimately result in more patient lives being saved.”

Across the world’s emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, China and the Asia Pacific region, cancer-related deaths are increasing.1 Cancer is now the second leading cause of death in Russia with approximately 300,000 estimated every year.1  Worldwide, cancer claims over 7 million lives every year and the number continues to rise. Deaths are estimated to reach 12 million by 2030.

Under the terms of the agreement, Petrov Institute scientists will work in collaboration with teams from AstraZeneca’s Oncology Innovative Medicines group at centres worldwide, providing a framework that brings together complimentary skills to harness and foster medical innovation: the Petrov Institute via its research infrastructure and scientific expertise in St. Petersburg, Russia and AstraZeneca via its proven track record in global research and discovery in oncology. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

                                                              –ENDS –

Vince Docherty (Hong Kong)
t: +852 9470 5983

Laura Woodin (US)
t: +1 302 885 1087
m: +1 610 999 8330

1. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, Forman D, Mathers C and Parkin DM. GLOBOCAN 2008 v2.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. Available from:, accessed on 6 February 2013.


About the N.N. Petrov Institute of Oncology.

Founded in 1927, the N.N. Petrov Research Institute of Oncology is the oldest cancer clinic in Russia. The institute performs a wide range of diagnostics procedures, provides treatment to cancer patients and undertakes biomedical research, the authors of which frequently publish their work in widely-cited international scientific journals. Translational research is a primary focus of the Institute’s activities. Over many years the Institute has investigated various aspects of molecular diagnostics with a number of methods developed at its facilities being subsequently incorporated into routine medical practice

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:

Personalised Healthcare

Personalised healthcare (PHC) aims to match medicines to only those patients who will benefit from them. Advances in science mean we can increasingly design and use tests to tell us how an individual patient is likely to respond to a particular medication before prescribing it for them. Developing medicines in this way changes the way healthcare is delivered to patients. It means better, more effective treatment for patients and proven value for payers. For more information please visit: